Vice President & Director of Programs
Nadia Elokdah is an urbanist and design strategist with more than a decade working at the intersection of public systems and cultural practice. She currently serves as Vice President & Director of Programs at GIA. Most recently she served as special projects manager with the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs coordinating the City’s monuments commission. Prior, she served as coordinator in the development of the City’s first cultural plan, CreateNYC, in which she coordinated and led hundreds of engagements with a broad cross-section of the public, as well collaborating in the writing and production of the plan. She is devoted to civic engagement through culturally responsible, inclusive, and equitable design practice, exemplified in collaborations with the International Design Clinic, in.site collaborative, and Monuments Lab. Nadia is a trained architect and designer, researcher, professor, and published author, including Identity Crisis, a cultural exploration of urban planning through the hammam. She currently serves as steering committee member of the Women of Color in the Arts (WOCA) Non-Black POC Solidarity! into Action Committee. Nadia holds a Master of Arts in Theories of Urban Practice from Parsons School of Design and a BArch in Architecture from Temple University.
Director of Operations & Finance
Champ Knecht has been working in non-profit finance for two decades, most recently as Deputy Director for Administration at The Drawing Center. Prior to that, he was at MoMA PS1, and in Pittsburgh PA at the Carnegie Museum of Art. Early in his career, Champ worked at New York Foundation for the Arts in its artist sponsorship program, and it was there that he realized arts management was to be his chosen career path. At The Drawing Center, he guided the institution through a major renovation and capital campaign. While he was Deputy Director, The Drawing Center became one of the first non-profits to successfully close out a major grant from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. Champ is active on the Human Rights Campaign’s national Board of Governors, and is the Greater NY Steering Committee Co-Chair.
Senior Program Manager
Sherylynn Sealy is a strategist, yoga instructor, performing artist, and educator with a varied background. She is also on the steering committee of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP)-Boston Chapter. Prior to her program manager role with Grantmakers in the Arts, Sherylynn was a Philanthropy Fellow with the New York Community Trust where she engaged with arts and culture funders and organizations across New York City. She previously served as a consultant for the Mayor’s Office and Superintendent’s Office on their implementation of the City-wide Youth Stat Initiative in New Haven, CT. Managing over 200 student-cases, she served as the point of contact for schools and local partners. A Teach for America alumna, she received her MPA in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy from New York University, and her BS in Education and Psychology from Northeastern University. She also served on the Dance/NYC Junior Committee. She is the Producing Artistic Director at Greater Glory Nazarene Ministries in Brooklyn, NY. She continues to explore her passion for performing arts, traveling, and spreading a message of hope.
President & CEO
Edwin Torres joined Grantmakers in the Arts as president & CEO at the end of 2017 and served on the GIA board of directors from 2011 through 2016. He most recently served as deputy commissioner of cultural affairs for New York City, where he played a leadership role in the development of the city’s long-term sustainability plan, the city's first cultural plan and a study of and efforts to support the diversity of the city’s cultural organizations. Prior, he was a program officer with The Rockefeller Foundation, where he worked on the foundation’s support for arts and culture, jobs access, and resilience. He has also served in the dean’s office at Parsons School for Design, on the arts and culture team at The Ford Foundation as well as on the staff of the Bronx Council on the Arts. Torres serves on the board of directors of United Philanthropy Forum, as well as serving on its Public Policy Committee. He holds a Master of Arts in Art History from Hunter College and a Master of Science in Management from The New School.
Mar Undag is a movement artist who graduated from University of Utah with a BFA in Modern Dance and currently based in Brooklyn, NY. He cherishes his deep Filipino roots, feels a strong connection to food as art/passion/nutrition/comfort, and feels at home when at/near/in/on any large body of water. Along with teaching and performing, Mar feels a strong pull towards community and arts advocacy. Mar has served in various administrative positions inside of nonprofit and dance organizations.
Zoë Williams is a first-generation Jamaican American who holds a B.F.A in Acting and Performance Arts from the University at Albany. Zoë fell into Development five years ago at The Drawing Center at an assistant level, where she received a crash course into the arts world in NYC. With the help of strong mentorship, Zoë has had the opportunity to serve at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum and The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Supporting inclusion and equity in the arts & culture spectrum is her passion. Other passions include being a mother, traveling, cooking, dancing, and attending live theater.